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Planning The Future of West Ashley

City looking for citizen input on future of West Ashley

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April 20, 2017
From Staff Reports

West Ashley’s history is unique. The home of Charles Towne in 1670, West Ashley is the founding site for the City of Charleston and State of South Carolina. With a history spanning more than 300 years, it has been witness to nearly the entire past of the United States. The close of the 20th century brought tremendous growth and fast expansion. A place with neighborhoods, parks, and a growing and engaged community at its core, West Ashley is poised to take a giant stride in the coming years. How the area is developed and revitalized will have a lasting impact on the quality of life for our region for generations to come.

Starting this week, the City of Charleston’s West Ashley Revitalization Commission (WARC) and the project steering committee is encouraging all citizens to participate in Plan West Ashley, a serious of public meetings designed to help guide West Ashley’s future development.

Plan West Ashley is offering a chance for the public to help craft the vision for the future of West Ashley. A Charrette will be the centerpiece of public involvement, with multiple opportunities for you to participate in the process. Charrettes are comprised of multiple meetings and workshops that gather many people from the community together over a focused period of time to generate ideas; this process will shape the vision for West Ashley. Four kickoff and hands-on design workshops will be held to discuss and sketch ideas for the future of West Ashley. Following these meetings, an “Open Studio” will be held for one week to further explore ideas. Community members are encouraged to stop by, see what is being worked on, and share their thoughts. The Charrette will wrap up with a work-in-progress presentation where all of the work completed to date is presented for more feedback.

Three Kickoff and Community Input Workshops will be held April 24, April 25, and May 6. According to the city’s project website www.planwestashley.com, these workshops will help to identify priorities and discuss opportunities and challenges for the future of West Ashley. Potential precedents and examples from other places will be presented as “food-for-thought” to begin the conversation.

The assembly will also break into smaller groups to discuss ideas and sketch solutions to challenges. At the conclusion of the session, each group will present their “big ideas”, which will begin to establish the community vision. Four Hands-on Sessions will be held to focus on different areas of West Ashley.

• KICKOFF & COMMUNITY INPUT WORKSHOP: AREA 1
Monday, April 24, 6-9 p.m. at John Wesley United Methodist Church, 626 Savannah Hwy.
Meet the consultant team, and engage with your neighbors to share your vision for West Ashley. Don’t live or work in Area 1, or can’t make the meeting for your Area? Not a problem. Community members can attend any or all sessions!

• KICKOFF & COMMUNITY INPUT WORKSHOP: AREA 2
Tuesday, April 25, 6-9 p.m. at West Ashely Middle School Cafeteria, 1776 William Kennerty Dr.
Meet the consultant team, and engage with your neighbors to share your vision for West Ashley. Don’t live or work in Area 2, or can’t make the meeting for your Area? Not a problem. Community members can attend any or all sessions.

• KICKOFF & COMMUNITY INPUT WORKSHOP: AREA 3
Saturday, May 6, 9 a.m.12 p.m. at Bees Landing Recreational Center, 1580 Ashley Gardens Blvd.
Meet the consultant team, and engage with your neighbors to share your vision for West Ashley. Don’t live or work in Area 3, or can’t make the meeting for your Area? Not a problem. Community members can attend any or all sessions.

KICKOFF & COMMUNITY INPUT WORKSHOP: AREA 4
Saturday, May 6, 2-5 p.m. at West Ashley High School Cafeteria, 4060 W Wildcat Blvd.
Meet the consultant team, and engage with your neighbors to share your vision for West Ashley. Don’t live or work in Area 4, or can’t make the meeting for your Area? Not a problem. Community members can attend any or all sessions.

• OPEN PLANNING STUDIO
Monday, May 8, 2 p.m. through Friday, May 12, 1 p.m. at Citadel Mall (near center court)
Visit the Open Planning Studio, where the consultant team will work on-site to test concepts and conduct stakeholder meetings. The Open Planning Studio will be held near the center court, enter through JC Penney. Review the work-in-progress, and give your feedback on the draft ideas.

• WORK-IN-PROGRESS & FEEDBACK SESSION
Saturday, May 13, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at Citadel Mall (near center court)
All of the work to date will be presented. Attend this session and tell the planning team if the draft ideas are on the right track.

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